Military Alumni

Military High School Alumni

Honoring Our Heroes

This area is dedicated to our alumni that have served or are serving in our armed forces!

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Honored Military Alumni

Alan P. Austin
Alan P. Austin
Class of 1965
Air Force, 6 Years

Viet Nam Veteran
Angela Stickels
Angela Stickels
Class of 1989
Air Force, 13 Years

Served in Air Force Space Command
Beryl F. Parks
Beryl F. Parks
Class of 1934
Army, 20+ Years

Graduated from Afton HS, 1934.
Inducted into U.S. Army in February 1941.
Beryl served with 1st Infantry Division in the European theater of operations during World War Two, then on the War Crimes Commission. Then he served in the Korean conflict during 1950-51 and received a Bronze Star for service in ground operations against the enemy. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in May 1961. Beryl received East Union's Military Service Recognition in 2014.
Brad A. Kasal
Brad A. Kasal
Class of 1985
Marine Corps, 20+ Years

Upon graduation from East Union High School in 1985, Brad immediately enlisted in the US Marine Corps. He rapidly progressed through the levels of enlisted marine combat and combat leadership training. Over the years he served in Operations Desert Storm/Desert Shield, Iraqi Freedom, and Enduring Freedom (Various Countries to include Afghanistan).

In November 2004, during the battle for Fallujah, Iraq, First Sergeant Kasal led a mission to rescue fellow marines from an enemy-held house. During the effort he received multiple bullet wounds, nearly lost his lower right leg, and also deliberately absorbed the brunt of an enemy grenade blast with his back in order to protect an injured fellow marine from the blast. He lost massive amounts of blood from these wounds, but was fortunate to survive. He received the Navy Cross for heroism, our nation%u2019s second highest award for valor, for this action.

After recovery from his wounds, Brad was assigned as a marine recruiter based in Des Moines for 3 ? years, working in a five state recruiting district. He is now Regimental Sergeant Major in the US Marine Corps School of Infantry at Camp Pendleton, California as of 2011

In 2011 Brad was inducted into the East Union Wall of Fame honorary. He was also recognized on East Union's newly established Military Service Recognition physical display which includes the names of individuals who were killed in combat, were prisoners of war, or earned high military combat recognition medals during their period of military service.
Bruce E. Cross
Bruce E. Cross
Class of 1991
Air Force Reserves, 26 Years

Bruce Cross grew up in Afton, IA and enlisted in the United States Air Force on 22 July 1992. He has one daughter, Tegan. His background includes leadership roles as Squadron Superintendent, First Sergeant, Flight Chief, Team Lead, NCOIC and other various contracting positions. Chief Cross has supported a variety of Air Force missions as a Contracting Officer and has deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia.
1998 - Airman Leadership School, In-Residence
2005 - NCO Academy, In-Residence
2007- SNCO Academy, Correspondence
2008- Associate Degree of Applied Science in Logistics Management – CCAF
2008- Associate Degree of Applied Science in Contract Management – CCAF
2009- APDP Level III Certification – Contracting
2010- Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration – Strayer University
2011- USAF SNCO Academy, In-Residence
2013 - Professional Manager Certification – CCAF

1. September 1992 – November 1993, Pickup and Delivery Specialist, K I Sawyer Air Force Base, Michigan
2. November 1993 – November 1994, Satellite Supply Clerk, Osan Air Base, Korea
3. November 1994 – August 1997, Inventory Management Journeyman, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska
4. August 1997 – July 1999, NCOIC Warehouse Operations, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. (September 1997 –
December 1997, Aircrew Support, Prince Sultan Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)
5. July 1999 – April 2000, APS Craftsman, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska
6. April 2000 – November 2004, Contract Specialist, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. (June 2002 – August 2002 Contingency Contracting Officer, Tuzla Air Base, Bosnia-Herzegovina)
7. November 2004 – October 2006, Contract Specialist, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. (January 2006 – May 2006 Infrastructure Team Lead, Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait)
8. October 2006 – November 2008, Flight Chief Contingency and Training, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.
(September 2007 – March 2008 Contract Oversight Officer, ISAF, Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan)
9. November 2008 – June 2009, SABER Team Lead/First Sergeant, Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico
10. June 2009 – January 2010, Contracting Superintendent/First Sergeant, Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico
11. January 2010 – March 2011, Flight Chief Commodities. First Sergeant, Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico
12. March 2011 – June 2012, Contracting Superintendent/First Sergeant, 27
Special Operations Contracting
Squadron, Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico
13. July 2012 – April 2016, Contracting Superintendent/First Sergeant, 19
Contracting Squadron, Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas
14. April 2016 – Present, Chief Enlisted Manager, AFICA KG, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Good Conduct Medal with one silver oak leaf cluster and one oak leaf cluster
National Defense Medal with one service star
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with one service star
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one service star
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Korean Defense Service Medal
Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters NATO Medal with one service star
Airman Basic 22 July 1992
Airman 22 January 1993
Airman First Class 22 November 1993
Senior Airman 22 July 1995
Staff Sergeant 1 May 1999
Technical Sergeant 1 June 2003
Master Sergeant 1 June 2007
Senior Master Sergeant 1 June 2012
Chief Master Sergeant 1 April 2016

(Current as of 8 September 2018)
Cecil C. Nichols, Jr.
Cecil C. Nichols, Jr.
Class of 1937
Army, 4 Years

Served in the US Army Air Corps 1941-45. Assigned to 509th Composite Air Group, with the grounds support team for the Enola Gay aircraft used to drop the first atom bomb on Hiroshima. Achieved rank of SSgt. Received two Bronze Battle Stars, Army Service Medal, Pacific Service Medal, American Defense Medal, WW II Victory Medal.
Selected in 2011 for inclusion on the newly created East Union Military Service Recognition Display, which includes individuals who were killed in combat, Prisoner of War, or earned high military combat recognition medals while serving in the military.
Clifton C Smith
Clifton C Smith
Class of 1936
Army, 1 Years

*** East Union MSR 2015 ***

Private Clifton C. Smith, from Afton High School Class of 1936, entered the US Army in summer of 1943, during World War II. His 23rd Regiment was deployed to Ireland in October for intensive training in preparation for the invasion of France.
On June 8, 1944 (D-Day +2), they landed on Normandy’s Omaha Beach. After 38 days of heavy fighting as the Allied Forces inched steadily forward, Clifton was killed in action on July 16, 1944.
Cody Miller
Cody Miller
Class of 2004
Army, 6 Years

Cody is serving in Afghanistan at this time. He has spent the last 3 years in Italy and will hopefully be state side soon.
Crescentia (Grace) Spare Vinson
Crescentia (Grace) Spare Vinson
Class of 1972
Army, 20+ Years

Many enjoyable ( and not so enjoyable) experiences both oversees and stateside in the Army for 22 years. Met my wonderful husband of 32 years there, traveled to many exotic places ( sounds like an Army commercial) and never looked back. Would do it all again!
Dale Foreman
Dale Foreman
Class of 1976
Navy, 20+ Years

Serviced 6 years in the United States Marine Corp and 16 years in the United States Navy.
Donald K. Lamb
Donald K. Lamb
Class of 1954
Army, 20+ Years

**East Union MSR 2018**

Donald K. Lamb attended Afton High School before joining the US Army in 1953. Over a twenty-eight year career he served in both the Army and Navy.
During his Navy tour from 1958-62 Donald served aboard the USS Sierra during the Cuban Missile Crisis and participated in the Cuban Blockade in October 1962. He received the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for this service.
Following his Navy enlistment Donald rejoined the Army and had two tours in Viet Nam. During the second Viet Nam tour he received a Bronze Star with first Oak Leaf Cluster for meritorious achievement during ground operations against a hostile force.
After Viet Nam Donald had tours in Germany near Stuttgart and at Ft. Knox, Kentucky and Ft. Huachuca, Arizona. He had achieved the rank of Chief Warrant Officer Four when he retired in 1982.
A nameplate for Donald Lamb was added to the East Union Military Heroes plaque in 2018.
Donnel Caggiano
Donnel Caggiano
Class of 1984
Marine Corps, 8 Years

4 years active duty - 2531 Field Radio Operator, Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, NC. 4 Years Reserve duty, Reserve Support Unit, Unit Diary Clerk, Camp Lejeune, NC. Activated during Operation Desert Storm to reactivate Marines that were coming back onto active duty.
Erik White
Erik White
Class of 1993
Navy, 5 Years

Hospital Corpsman with 3rd MARDIV
Gary D. Butts
Gary D. Butts
Class of 1965
Air Force, 4 Years

Air Police/Security Police
Gary R. Schad
Gary R. Schad
Class of 1968
Navy, 4 Years

Enlisted in the U.S. Navy 1970 and Honorably discharged 1974 . Spent one tour from late 1970 to early 1971 aboard USS Pitkin County carrying food and ammunition supplies up the rivers to the front line troops . Attained the rating of 2nd Class Petty Officer ( E5 ) in the Engineering Department . I had followed my family members Dad , Uncle and Brother in serving our country in the U.S. Navy
Greg Foreman
Greg Foreman
Class of 1978
Marine Corps, 20+ Years

Was in boot camp 3 days after graduation on May 29, 1978 and retired on June 1, 1998. Did a variety of things, such as jet mechanic on A-6 Intruders, EA-6B Prowlers, Crewchief on T-39 Sabreliners, Aircrew on DC-9's, Water Safety and Survival Trainer qualified, Drill Instructor. Spent 2 1/2 years (3 Separate) Med Cruises. Been to several foreign countries, and wouldn't have done anything different if given a chance. Enjoyed my service and reflect back on it as a great part of my past.
H Malcolm Amos
H Malcolm Amos
Class of 1939
Army, 5 Years

**** East Union MSR ****

Afton H S, 1939
Served during WW II, High rank SSgt.
POW, Bronze Star

Harold Malcolm Amos joined the US Army in 1940 after graduating from Afton High School in 1939. He became a medic and was stationed in the Philippines.

Captured by Japanese in 1942; he was forced to participate in, but survived, the Bataan Death March. A Prisoner of War in Camp Cabantuan; he was one of 512 rescued during the Great Raid in January 1945.

Back stateside in 1945, he married Loraine Marie Nielsen in San Francisco; they returned to Afton, bought and ran a grocery store, and raised a family.

Malcolm was Afton fire chief for 35 years, and served approximately 10 years each as a City Council member, mayor and Union County supervisor. He was also a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Disabled American Veterans, and a member of the American Legion.

In 2011 he was recognized on the newly created East Union Military Service Recognition physical display. It honors military service with nameplates for East Union area high school attendees who served in our uniformed military and were killed in action, became prisoners of war or earned high military combat recognition.
H. Miner Eckels, Jr
H. Miner Eckels, Jr
Class of 1949
Army, 2 Years

Junior Eckels was born January 3, 1931 and grew up on a farm south of Thayer, Iowa. He graduated from Thayer High School in 1949. Drafted into the U.S. Army upon reaching draft age, he made the rank of PFC and was assigned to the 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Division during the Korean conflict. He was killed in action when he stepped on a Korean land mine on October 12, 1952.
Junior was selected for Military Service Recognition by East Union Community School District in 2014.
H. Wayne Reece
H. Wayne Reece
Class of 1964
Marine Corps, 1 Years

**** East Union M S R ****

East Union H S, 1964,
Served in Viet Nam, Rank Lance Corporal,
Killed in Action.

After graduating from East Union Afton Center, Howard Wayne Reece attended Creston Community College. Wayne then enlisted in the U S Marine Corps in 1966, attending basic training at Camp Pendleton, California.

Lance Corporal Reece was attached to Service Company, Seventh Engineer Battalion, First Marine Division in Viet Nam. He was killed in action near Da Nang by a sniper, while on assignment as personal driver for the Battalion Commander.

In 2011 Wayne was recognized on the newly created East Union Military Service Recognition physical display. It honors military service with nameplates for East Union area high school attendees who served in our uniformed military and were killed in action, became prisoners of war or earned high military combat recognition.
Jack G. Landers
Jack G. Landers
Class of 1993
Army, 20+ Years

**EastUnion MSR 2017**
Jack Landers graduated from East Union High School in 1993. He had enlisted in the US Army Reserves and attended Army Basic Training at Ft. Leonard Wood during the previous summer. Upon high school graduation he reported for active Army duty and took Advanced Individual Training followed by the Airborne Ranger program. He then was assigned to 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Infantry in November of 1993. Over the next 15 years he was deployed to combat operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom five times and in Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) four times. He received two Bronze Stars and other combat awards, served in key leadership positions and was promoted to the level of Master Sergeant/First Sergeant. In December 2009 he was reassigned to the Military District of Washington and served there until retiring in June 2013. He now resides in the Baltimore, Maryland area.
Jack was selected for Military Service Recognition by East Union School in 2017.

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East Union High School Classmates

Pam Eighme
Class of '78

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Our East Union High School military alumni are some of the most outstanding people we know and this page recognizes them and everything they have done! Not everyone gets to come home for the holidays and we want our East Union High School Military to know that they are loved and appreciated. All of us in Afton are proud of our military alumni and want to thank them for risking their lives to protect our country!